Liberia’s relationship with Ukraine began in September 1998. Ever since then, there have been tremendous benefits.
To solidify this diplomatic bond, the Republic of Ukraine, on February 7, 2019 commissioned business mogul, Prof. Dr. C. Nelson Oniyama as its Honorary Consul General to Liberia.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Chargé d’Affaires of Ukraine in Senegal Mr. Anton Barabulia said with the inauguration of a honorary consulate in Liberia, the diplomatic ties between both countries will be colored economically.
Mr. Barabulia recounted the role Ukrainian soldiers played in the peacekeeping mission of the United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL) as well as Liberia’s support to Ukraine’s positions on issues at the United Nations specifically those that have to do with the territorial integrity of the Eastern European nation.
“Our country looks forward to deepening bilateral relations with Liberia particularly in the areas of economics and trade,” he said.
The Ukrainian diplomatic added that although his country has limited diplomatic presence in Africa, the availability of an Honorary Consul in Liberia is further valuable to future engagements.
For his part, the Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Liberia, Prof. Dr. Oniyama said his commissioning represents the commencement of the evolution of solid and cordial relationship between Liberia and Ukraine.
“It is a physical declaration and a clear manifestation that Ukraine wants to have a significant presence and make more meaningful and direct contributions to Liberia,” the Ukrainian Honorary Consul said.
He added that Liberia is hopeful that the new height this diplomatic relations has reached will be evidentially present and that Ukrainian policies in West Africa will be articulated to be more responsive to the developmental needs of Liberia.
Prof. Dr. Oniyama expressed appreciation to President Petro Porochenko of Ukraine for the confidence reposed in him to represent the European country on the West Coast of Africa.
Also speaking, Acting Foreign Minister, Elias Shoniyin indicated that the government of Ukraine made no mistake in selecting Prof. Dr. Oniyama to represent that great country in Liberia.
Deputy Minister Shoniyin said he has seen the level of impact the new Ukrainian Honorary Consul is making the private sector development of Liberia.
He added that Liberia-Ukraine relationship has seen many returns in last decade but most importantly in the last five years, it has taken an exponential growth in terms of engagement at both the bilateral and international level.
The commissioning of a Honorary Consul of the European Country in Liberia, Deputy Minister Shoniyin said is a great testament that the relationship subsisting between both countries will be taken to another level adding that the existence of the Ukraine consulate office in Liberia speaks to the West African nation’s openness to work with other countries for the advancement of development and mutual cooperation.
The Director of Commercial Section of the Ukrainian Consulate Office in Monrovia, Mr. Charuk Siafa recounted the trade dividends between Liberia and Ukraine which increased by 367.6% from January to November 2018 to US$77.33 Million compared to the same period in 2017.
The structure of export between Ukraine and the Republic of Liberia in January-November 2018: ships (94.5%), milk and dairy, eggs, honey (3.8%).
The structure of import between Ukraine and the Republic of Liberia in January-November 2018: natural rubber, gum (100%).
The Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia, H.E. Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor and the Acting Minister of foreign affairs of Liberia H.E. Mr. Elias Shoniyin were among the honorary guests at the ceremony as well as the Ukrainian citizens working in Liberia and the representatives of the diplomatic corps.